Happy Birthday to Robert Green Ingersoll, “The Great Agnostic”
Posted by mattusmaximus on August 11, 2012
I just wanted to pass along this announcement from the fine folks at the Center For Inquiry regarding one of the most valuable orators and activists for freethought, science, and rationality: Robert Green Ingersoll. This past Saturday (August 11th) was his birthday, and I think it is worth letting you know more about him:
Happy Birthday to “The Great Agnostic!”
Back before blogs, opinion-based news programs, talk radio, and even amplified sound, the American public gathered by the thousands to listen to professional orators calling out their opinions from train platforms, outdoor stages, and the steps of city hall. Oratory was wildly popular in the 1800s, and there was no lecturer more popular than Robert Green Ingersoll, a.k.a., “The Great Agnostic.”
Ingersoll continually championed science, reason, and secular values in the public square. He was an early popularizer of Charles Darwin and a tireless advocate for women’s rights, racial equality, and birth control decades before others would pick up the cause. He often poked fun at religious belief, and he defied the religious conservatives of his day by championing secular humanist values.
Ingersoll’s work and his words are highly relevant to our day, too, so the Center for Inquiry and its sister organization, the Council for Secular Humanism, work to bring his wisdom and insights to a broader audience.
— Learn more about Robert Green Ingersoll —
- Discover the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum in Dresden, New York
- Read about the CFI staff field trip to the museum
- Watch a video about Ingersoll produced by the Council for Secular Humanism
- Visit the Freethought Trail in West-Central New York
- Explore the full texts of Ingersoll’s complete works
- Ponder some of Ingersoll’s most popular sayings and wonder why it took you so long to find this awesome writer! More here!
- Read this neat article about Ingersoll’s life and influence in Washington
- Steal this awesome image from the CFI On Campus Facebook page (and don’t forget to “Like” the page while you’re there!)
- Watch the finalists from CFI-DC’s Ingersoll Oratory Contest
- Enjoy an online walking tour of Ingersoll’s Washington, D.C.
- Check out this Point of Inquiry episode about Ingersoll
- In Indiana? Head to the Circle in Indianapolis Sunday, August 12, to hear one of Ingersoll’s most moving speeches, recited by Tom Flynn, the director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum!
Happy Birthday, Colonel Bob!